Wow, that was a crazy storm

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A crazy half-hour storm ripped through Brooklyn yesterday afternoon sending trees crashing onto cars, news reporters scurrying to find anyone with amateur video, editors scrambling to find the definition (and spelling) of “tornado,” and sending at least one man to the hospital.

Our crack team caught these pictures in Park Slope and in Bushwick, where witnesses swear they saw a funnel cloud touch down at around 5:30 pm, just a few minutes after the generally overcast, but benign, sky veered quickly into “Wizard of Oz” territory.

In Park Slope, a massive tree on Seventh Avenue between 11th and 12th streets slammed into a car, sending its occupant, a local sensei, to the hospital.

Channel 4 news posted an amateur video that suggested that we had been hit by a tornado. So did Channel 2. Channel 7 only offered still photos, which, frankly, aren’t that helpful.

It is unclear by our deadline whether we were hit with a tornado, which is only defined as “a violently rotating column of air, in contact with the ground.” The National Weather Service often downgrades tornados to “gustnados,” so we’ll have to see what happens this time.

Meanwhile, we got an amazing witness account from our pal, John Derian. Here’s what he said:

“S— is out of control in my neighborhood. I had to outrun the tornado! I was walking home from Grand Army Plaza. On the way there was lots of thunder, the clouds were moving quickly, but it wasn’t too windy, and little rain. After I turned onto St. Johns, I noticed the wind was picking up, it started to rain a lot harder, lightning was flashing all around, and the clouds looked green. Then this girl ran past me yelling a tornado is coming. I turned around and see this wall of water barreling down the street. The girl jumped into a market, but I ran as fast as I could to my apartment right down the street. I was fumbling around with the keys and got inside right as it’s going by me. Looking out my window, I could see only water moving horizontally. Five minutes later it was done. I went outside, and the street was completely devastated. Trees uprooted, tearing apart the concrete. Cars smashed from fallen branches and trees. Hundreds of people were out snapping photos. It was a pretty wild scene.”


Updated 3:36 pm, September 17, 2010: Updated with witness account and more pictures.
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Reader Feedback

Anonymous from Bushwick, Brooklyn says:
Someone needs to go and interview Alex, the owner of Oasis Deli on the corner of Knickerbocker and Suydam, right near Maria Hernandez Park and 278 Suydam Street, where the roof blew off last night. He witnessed the whole thing.
Sept. 17, 2010, 6:37 pm
Michael from Park Slope says:
I was sound asleep and missed the excitement; but, while on the threshold of a dream, I did see Miss Gulch/ the Wicked Witch pass overhead.
Sept. 17, 2010, 8:45 pm

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